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  • Newsletter Delay; The Canister X Transmission Issue 252

    Just a note to inform you there is a newsletter delay this week due to TinyLetter’s site glitching. Until it’s resolved, I am unable to send out the most recent issue so I’ve blogged it here in the interim and will send it out proper once I am able to, which might mean this week you’ll be getting two editions of The Canister X Transmission close together. If the problem persists due to possible staffing shortages on their end, then we’ll just air the newsletter here until things get back to normal.

    There’s a first time for everything.

    Here is the latest edition. It is dated yesterday.

    Newsletter:

    Issue Two Hundred-fifty-two – April 18, 2020

    Hello and welcome to the 252nd issue of THE CANISTER X TRANSMISSION, a weekly newsletter from a schlub up north who offers you strange ramblings every week.

    How is everyone?

    It has been a busy week. Lots of tasks. Lots of work. Lots of prep. Lots of thinking. Lots of stress. Lots of accomplishment. Lots of, well, lots.

    And here we are.

    Oh, and I made bread.

    Work log:

    PROJECT JACKASS (title reveal below); uploaded a sneak peek to the Behind-the-Scenes tier on Patreon showcasing one of the opening pages of PROJECT JACKASS in full color (link below); shot and uploaded a new video to YouTube, which announces PROJECT JACKASS’s real title and quickly takes a glimpse at the artwork and offers a brief premise (link below); blogging; and administration.

    Quick note regarding this newsletter: Issue 260 is the final issue of The Long Year Five. We will do something special at that time. As always, the invite is there if you want to see something particular in that double issue. Just shoot me an email and I’ll see what I can do.

    In blog headline news—and once information known only to my patrons on Patreon—the title of PROJECT JACKASS was revealed! PROJECT JACKASS was a place-holder name for an upcoming webcomic from me called FREDRIKUS, which is about an anthropomorphic dog in a dystopic sc-fi world. Phew. Now I can finally refer to it as an actual thing and not some project document (which is actually a combination of multiple documents including a notebook for the stories).

    Blog headlines:

    Various Bits from the Net – 041220

    Status Report – 041420

    Project Jackass Title Revealed: Fredrikus

    Fredrikus Social Media

    New Fredrikus Behind-the-Scenes Post on Patreon!

    On Art and Never Arriving

    Fredrikus Webcomic Announcement

    Status Report – 041720

    As you can see from the above headline, you are invited to like and follow FREDRIKUS on social media so you can be notified when the strip airs. Please do so. More details about the webcomic to be revealed in due time. Watch the blog to stay current. I will admit, it’s high time new things started to roll out from me and warming up the machine for FREDRIKUS is part of that journey.

    I’m thinking that the next thing to roll out from me is the Inktober 2019 sketchbook I mentioned in a previous issue. PROJECT REBUILD is taking some time due to elements beyond my control and I don’t want to leave you hanging.

    Side note: As much as my blog has been retooled on the back end, sometimes the theme acts up and reverts to black text on white rather than white text on black. If you come across this, don’t worry. I’m still troubleshooting the issue with the hope of taking care of it once and for all in the near future. Just check the blog as per usual and you’ll be fine.

    We’re also gearing up for the new serial novel to air on Patreon because GIGANTIGATOR DEATH MACHINE is almost complete. Watch the blog for the announcement and be sure to get in on the ground floor by becoming a patron today for just a buck. The entirety of GIGANTIGATOR DEATH MACHINE will remain on the site so come time for the new serial novel, you’ll have two novels to read for the price of one. Awesome deal. Please take advantage (it also helps keep me fed). Link below to subscribe to what is essentially the Netflix of literary entertainment from a book and comic guy like me. Thank you in advance for your support.

    Also going on, but not worked on this week, is PROJECT COBALT. This is a big one and an important one, and a lot of thought, trial and error, and work has already been put into it. I’m suspecting a latter 2020 rollout, but keep that fluid for the moment. The world is in upheaval on multiple levels and things are in constant flux as we combat this invisible enemy (amongst other things). But yeah, PROJECT COBALT, man. Onward.

    For a good while I’ve had the marketing materials for a YouTube subscription drive, but we’re not quite there yet in terms of the channel’s relationship to other things. However, I’m a firm believer in groundwork and foundation and I’d like you to be a part of all that’s planned for the channel plus what’s already there. Please use the link below and subscribe. Your subscription will eventually lead to me monetizing the channel, which in turn will fund more comics and books and the stuff I put online for free. But it all takes time and time, in order to do this job full time, requires money. The subscription costs you nothing other than 5 seconds—which I recognize is your valuable time hence why I try and create interesting content in the vein of Heroes and Monsters—and will go a long way toward keeping the media machine running. Thank you in advance again for your support.

    With Year Six of this newsletter fast approaching, I’m getting eager to see how the new format will work, how it will flow, and, ultimately, what it will do for you as my reader. I hope you enjoy the new format in 8 issues.

    In other newsletter news, Year Four was obviously completed a long time ago but was never published. It is still the plan to release it along with The Long Year Five. Also soon, my how-to book, GETTING DOWN AND DIGITAL: HOW TO SELF-PUBLISH YOUR BOOK, will be going out of print. Please grab your copy now. The principles and methods apply to both books and comics. It is also ideal for creators on a budget who are unable to afford fancy formatting programs. It walks you through formatting in MSWord for both print and electronic editions in a tried-and-tested procedure that is quite simple to follow.

    We’re also noodling with the social media broadcaster for FREDRIKUS because I’ve never run a broadcaster for anyone but myself and since good ol’ Fred can’t work the thing himself due to his paws, I’m stuck with the job. Hopefully it all works out. Speaking of which, the broadcaster has run out of broadcasts from that time I loaded ’er up good so that will have to be addressed in the coming week or two as well, but I’m toying with some new ideas. Not that the old ones were bad, but as it is with this game, doesn’t hurt to try new things.

    Okay, I think the above about covers it for this week. Lots of commercials, I know, but we’re at that stage in the grand plan.

    Rollout soon.

    We’re finally getting there. Isn’t that a thing?

    Take care of yourselves and each other. In the end, it’s on us about how we treat people.

    Have a good weekend. Make bread. Send me some.

    – A.P. Fuchs

    All the New Things, MB

    As usual:

    Patreon – Where I post an ongoing serial novel, essays on the creative life, behind-the-scenes secrets, and general jackassery.

    Canister X – Where I’m blogging during the week.

    YouTube – My channel that needs your subscription and views to help it grow.

    Ko-fi – A Tip Jar designed to cover the costs of the free stuff I put on the Web (daily blogging, this newsletter, YouTube videos, and artwork).

    End transmission


  • Slowing Down to Speed Up: Social Media Schedule Shift

    Slowing Down to Speed Up 2

    Slowing Down to Speed Up: Social Media Schedule Shift.

    As mentioned in this entry, the blogging schedule is changing here for the short-term due to the workload behind the screen. This also will affect how I run my social media. In short, nearly all my networks will be used to point people to articles of interest, videos, blog entries, and a few other things as per usual, the difference being that that’s pretty much all they’ll be used for. Sure, I might throw in some musings or wisecracks, but in terms of social discussion, we’re pretty much in Broadcast Mode.

    Regarding Instagram, we’re going to primarily be turning it into an art channel and a book cover showcase as well as a notifier of new YouTube videos.

    The social media game is changing in general and the above changes to my social media schedule are my way to utilize those platforms in the best way possible for my particular business model.

    And, of course, tweaks and adjustments will be made along the way as time goes on because that’s the nature of this game.

    Type “A.P. Fuchs” into your social networks’ search bars and you should find me since I am on most platforms.

    Thanks.


  • Where Projects Stand a Couple of Weeks into 2020

    January whiteboard
    Part of the whiteboard listing projects and deadlines in the studio bunker here at the Central.

    Where Projects Stand a Couple of Weeks into 2020.

    Time is flying by. It felt like it was New Year’s last week.

    It was two weeks ago.

    Pretty sure I’m stuck in an accelerated timestream.

    Anyway, I set out into 2020 with specific goals now that all my prelim work is pretty much done. (All discussed in my newsletter.)

    And so . . . here is where some projects stand a couple of weeks into 2020:

    Project Rebuild: First batch of second editions are my Undead World Trilogy. The new cover style–which looks incredible–is almost done. Layout to begin soon. Here is the original announcement.

    Patreon: New tiers and options to be added once some second editions come out. Gigantigator Death Machine is the current feature playing as a serial novel with a new installment every two weeks. This will run until May, if I counted out the installments correctly. A new serial novel will start up after this first one is done. Please go here to start reading the previous chapters so you’re ready for the next episode.

    Artwork: Putting the final touches on a commission. Have permission to share it on-line once the client receives it in the mail.

    Freelance: In the middle of a project for someone and still have my client that requires two days a week. (Which slows down my published work output but, hey, need to keep the lights on somehow.)

    New published work: This involves all the various projects I mentioned in previous blog posts and in the newsletter. As of this writing, the plan is to do a few second editions first then release something new then more second editions then new work, and so on. This plan keeps me at a pace I can manage, which in turn benefits you by giving you a pattern for 2020 and something to look forward to.

    YouTube: The channel is growing and content is going up at, on average, a video a week. Your subscription to the channel helps keep the writing and art machine running so please subscribe if you haven’t already.

    Daily blogging: Still on the Monday-to-Friday schedule. I’m doing my best to give you something each day that entertains or informs at least one person. Check back daily for new entries. If you check back and the blog hasn’t been updated, check back again later. Lately, my blogging hour has been shifting for various reasons.

    Vacation: Though I took a break over the Holidays, it wasn’t really a break. In the end, I had a few days for a breather because it took me until Boxing Day to finally slow down and just relax. Throw in some Holiday activities during that relax time and I didn’t end up having a genuine break. I was back at it on the 30th. So, things are in motion for a legit winter holiday, but by the time all is arranged, that won’t be until February sometime. Watch this space.

    Conventions and public appearances: One convention has been announced. I have irons in the fire in others and am waiting to hear back.

    Posted through my social channels this morning:

    “Hoping to find new inroads in the publishing world (books and comics) in 2020. I’m convinced the current standard system is terrible. That said, it’s up to creators to create the market, not companies. We need to get that straight first otherwise it’ll be same old, same old.”

    I stand by the idea that creators create the market. Read my essay, “Why I Quit the Publishing Industry and Opted to Just Make Books Instead,” to find out my thoughts on the current climate and my general attitude toward it. If you’re a creator reading this, please check out the essay. We’re not at the mercy of various companies to get our work out. They’re at your mercy to provide them work to distribute. They don’t have a business without you. Take that to heart. Stand strong. Make new roads. Find out new ways to share with your readers. You and your readers are the ones in control, not these companies.

    Okay. That’s all I’ve got for now. Thank you for checking in.

    See you tomorrow.


  • Project Rebuild Notice: Undead World Trilogy

    Undead World Trilogy by A.P. Fuchs

    Project Rebuild Notice: Undead World Trilogy.

    This notice is to inform you all three books in my Undead World Trilogy are the first on the docket for Project Rebuild (the name I gave in my newsletter to the “things to finish” category from stuff leftover from Project Rebirth).

    From now until their re-release, the books will remain available in their original first-edition formats for my readers who want a first-edition collection of my work. When it’s near time to publish the reissues, these original formats will be removed from sale so please don’t delay and grab your copies now before they’re gone.

    Also note Project Rebuild is very time-consuming thus my free content for the web will slow down a little. Daily blogging, the newsletter, and YouTube videos will continue but the content will shift a little so I ensure this rebuilding project gets completed.

    Thanks.

    Ps. A new essay was posted to Patreon today that discusses spontaneous book or comic marketing and gives ideas on how you can market your project at the drop of a hat. Read it here.


  • Recap Tunnel: Catch-up Time

    Recap Tunnel 2019 No. 4

    Here is the last installment of this recap series. It is called Recap Tunnel: Catch-up Time and it’s very simple: I’ve done a lot of blogging over the past few months here at Canister X, your Realm of Heroes and Monsters, so you’re invited to poke around the blog and check out the various pages as well as scroll through previous blog posts to ensure you’re all caught up before we head into 2020’s blogging year.

    Some ways you can make sure you don’t miss a blog update are to use some of the subscription boxes to the right of the screen, which enable you to subscribe to the blog via email and/or to the RSS feed and/or to my weekly newsletter, The Canister X Transmission. My YouTube channel is also regularly updated.

    You can also use these links:

    Canister X RSS Feed
    The Canister X Transmission
    A.P. Fuchs on YouTube

    Reminder: Today is the last day to book me for your project in 2020 and receive 2019’s rates. Please shoot me an email so we can lock something down because the fees go up effective tomorrow. Please go here to see what services I offer.

    It’s been a hard slog this year with recovery from being ill and getting my career back in order, but it was time well spent despite how difficult some days were. And so we march onward down the Timeline of All Things into 2020.

    Join me.

    Ps. A new chapter of Gigantigator Death Machine just went up on Patreon. Please read it and its previous chapters here.

    Pps. Thank you for reading my recap series of posts, starting with this one here (or technically here, if you want to go back to the series’ first mention) and ending up here with Recap Tunnel: Catch-up Time.

    Happy New Year’s Eve!


  • The Toughest Part About Being a Writer/Artist

    A.P. Fuchs Books
    Some books from the A.P. Fuchs library.

    Full transparency: I’ve never deliberately looked up blog topics (so far as I can recall) but for fun, this morning I decided to do that and see what’s currently out there for blogging ideas. “The Toughest Part About Being a . . .” prompt was something I came across and, maybe because I’m still groggy, resonated with me the most this fine winter morning.

    So that said, here is the toughest part about being a writer/artist as per how I feel at the moment I’m writing this:

    Getting respect.

    When people ask what I do for a living and I tell them I write stories and draw, I’m met with two general responses: “Oh man, that’s so cool!” or, “That’s nice. Maybe one day you’ll get a real job instead of playing all day.” The latter isn’t explicitly stated but is certainly implied by tone, facial expression, and body language, all with an air of disappointment.

    The first crowd is, of course, the most pleasant to deal with. Their eyes light up and they smile and are genuinely happy for me. They often become my readers and usually follow up with me the next time I see them and ask how things are going and if I’m still doing it (the “still doing it” part hinting they understand it’s an unstable job but they have my back and are in my corner even if my answer is “No”).

    The second crowd is the one I don’t understand. The general formula for a working adult is you get out of bed, go to work, come home, eat dinner, then get on with your evening, which may or may not include doing more work. That’s the formula I’ve lived by my entire working life–whether working in the arts or elsewhere–and the formula every working adult I know follows. The only difference is I work from home. So when I “go to work,” my commute is measured in hallways and staircases as I make my way down to the Central’s bunker to get started. I work all day–and get paid for it–turn the computer off, then reverse my commute and wind up back upstairs with the rest of the household. But mention you write stories and draw pictures for a living and suddenly you don’t have a real job (see the “On Freelancing for a Living (This is a Job)” blog post). Upon thinking about it, it’s not even the working from home part that seems to rub people the wrong way (though this can happen). It’s the specific what I do for a living. I’ve seen firsthand where others who work from home who don’t write stories and draw pictures are met with a metaphorical handshake. Me? It’s a metaphorical hands-in-their-pockets.

    There is a disconnect that happens–usually with the older generation(s)–where, in the old days, work was something you left the house for and something you didn’t always enjoy. Work was actual work, like a chore, or work was something that demanded such a hard effort that every day ended the same when one came home: a collapse on the couch from mental and/or physical exhaustion. I believe the disconnect also happens because a lot of people tend to forget the entertainment they consume had to be created by somebody. Those books you read? Somebody took a lot of time writing them. Those comics you love? A group of people had to spend a lot of time writing, drawing, coloring, lettering, and printing them. Those movies you go to every Friday night? A whole slew of people had to go somewhere to play dress-up and pretend for a camera to tell you a story. That video game? Tons of people. Tons of artists. Even the very computer or smartphone this entry is being read on was dreamed up and sketched out by people who went to work. Somebody had to write all the code used in that phone. Somebody had to draw all those app icons. Somebody had to make science fiction science fact. Oh, and they got paid to do it because they need food and shelter, too.

    Why is my job not normally respectable? Is it the non-steady paycheck? Is it the fact I like it? Is it because I’d rather spend a third of every day enjoying myself versus dragging myself through the motions? Is it because I made up my mind and chose what I was going to do with the old statement that you can either work towards making your own dreams come true or you can work for someone else to make their dreams come true?

    Why does a lawyer get the handshake and I don’t? Why does a doctor? Or an accountant? Or a factory worker or a mechanic? Their job puts food on the table and keeps a roof over their loved ones’ heads just like mine does. My income goes towards food and bills, getting stuff for the kids and gas in the car. It buys Christmas presents and pays for date nights. It funds life just like their job funds life.

    I work. You work. We all work.

    And like I posted to social media forever ago, I want to repeat here: Everything is art. Every. Single. Thing. Creation is God’s canvas and nature is His painting. The stuff humans have made? It’s all based on someone dreaming and asking themselves, “What if . . .?” Then writing it down and drawing it out. Designing your couch is an art form. Writing the code for your car’s computer is an art form. Coming up with how to safely make a handheld drill is an art form. And so on.

    Everything is art.

    In the end, I’ve learned to live with the hits and learned my career choice will be frowned upon by others. But there are also others who don’t frown and instead smile. Those are the people who give respect. The others? I’ll still respect their work because they are my fellow human beings, and perhaps one day I’ll get the same occupational respect in return.

    Author’s note: This article isn’t about complaining. It’s pointing out a disconnect that some people seem to have and is hopefully encouraging to those who might be in the same boat.


  • Reflections on Patreon after a Month on the Platform

    A.P. Fuchs on Patreon

    On September 14, 2019, I launched my first Patreon page. It was a thrilling day and one filled with hope and excitement. Sure, part of the reason to create the page was to supplement my writing and drawing income, but, having been part of Web culture since close to the beginning of my career (circa 2000), it was an opportunity for me to create a place on the Web to share cool stuff with people in a kind of “club” format.

    See, I have this problem of creating a ton of stuff for free and putting in on the Web whether via this blog or social media. As of today’s date, I’m on here blogging articles, essays, and musings Monday to Friday, my free weekly newsletter goes out on Saturdays, I started up a YouTube channel again, and I’m doing Inktober and sharing those sketches on social media (see the icons on the right). I enjoy entertaining people and, if I was in a place where money was no object, I’d gladly share all my work for free. But I can’t. I need to eat, need to buy supplies, need to cover costs, etc. so I have no choice but to charge for my work hence adding Patreon as part of my platform.

    If there is one major aspect of Patreon I truly enjoy, it is the idea of having a special place on the Web where people use a key (money) to unlock a door (my Patreon) to get stuff only available on the other side of that door. It’s an opportunity for me to virtually sit down with a group of people several times a month and go, “Look what I made. Hope it entertains you. Hope it educates you.” Almost like show-and-tell but, hopefully, much more entertaining. And, in the end, that’s what Patreon stands for for me: My patrons. They’re a special group of people who were willing to shell out a few beans to help a northern jackass like myself keep making entertainment for them and others.

    (Side note to explain what creators mean when they say buying their work or supporting their Patreon enables them to keep creating. They are not saying that without the support they can no longer create. A creator creates and always will. Just how it is. What they are saying is your support buys them the greatest and most precious of all commodities: Time. Time is the most valuable thing on the planet. Once a moment passes, it’s gone forever. No going back. No storing it up. It’s not even in abundant supply because we all die. If a creator spends their time doing everything but creating–I’m talking surviving life stuff not blowing hours on social media–then we’d have no entertainment. By supporting a creator, you’re filling up their Time Bank Account instead of them spending their Time Dollars on things that hinder the hours needed to create something. Even if ten hours a week can be supplemented, if the creator is responsible, they now have ten extra hours to make stuff for you. It’s win-win on both ends.)

    I’m only about a month into my Patreon journey. It’s been wonderful so far and I look forward to the days that are scheduled to upload new content. Right now, a new chapter of my creature feature serial novel, Gigantigator Death Machine, airs every two weeks (a new chapter went up today). On the off weeks, I put up essays on the creative industry and also treat patrons to behind-the-scenes stuff here at the Central. Of course, there are also extra blog posts for everyone as well as patron-first announcements where my patrons receive news before the general public. I’m still finding my footing regarding what else to offer. I have a plan for an ongoing special something for patrons but it’s not ready yet. Perhaps in the New Year, perhaps sooner. Regardless, I’m pleased with my current offerings and am excited to share more as time goes on.

    My patrons are my special group. They are those who’ve gone the extra mile by way of monthly support, and for that I am grateful. I want to publicly thank them here and I want to offer a thanks to future patrons as well.

    My Patreon journey has just begun. Would you like to come along? Here, take my hand. I have something to show you.


  • Status Report – 100919

    A.P. Fuchs in black and white October 9 2019

    Status report for 100919 – Busy week thus far, including–but not limited to–notes on marketing ideas for books, comics, social media, and the blog; Inktober; SEO work; book order facilitation; contracted publishing work; daily blogging; idea formulation.

    A fresh notebook stands at the ready.


  • On Being Swamped

    Last night, as I was winding down, I was struck with an idea for another massive project, one that, by it’s very nature, would be ongoing for years to come. I made a bunch of notes, but I had that famous moment where I thought, Gee, don’t I have enough to do already?

    I tweeted:

    “Why is it that I keep coming up with ideas for gigantor projects? As if I’m not busy enough writing books, making comics, blogging daily, taking and sharing pictures of my cooking efforts, marketing, freelancing, and trying to rebuild my life. I need to stop sleeping.”

    If I could indeed stop sleeping, that would free up 8 to 10 hours a day. But I also know that without a good night’s sleep, a person won’t make it in this world, and my years of functioning off minimal sack time are long gone.

    My plan for this massive project is to let it simmer in the ol’ noggin and if I’m still hyped about it in a week or two (or more), then maybe I’ll put it in motion.


  • The Magic of Blogging – An Invitation

    The magic of blogging . . .

    Once more I’ll state my belief that blogging is not dead, just misplaced. In a world of quick social media posts and soundbites, it’s easy to forget the Web is loaded with websites chock full of information, entertainment, and news. Many folks are dissatisfied with the way social media has gone and how it affects their mental health and overall well being, so I encourage you this coming week to spend time web surfing to see what you’ll find. Check out articles you’ve been meaning to read, creator websites you’ve been meaning to go to, topics you’ve been meaning to investigate.

    As an invitation from me, please take a moment and explore this blog. There is a lot here by way of free entertainment and free information. A decent portion of my creative output is spent giving readers things for free and I want you to take advantage of it so you can get to know me as a creator. On this site alone you have access to numerous articles, artwork, movie and book reviews, links to other creators, and more. This blog–the magic of blogging–is my way of getting information and entertainment to you in a way social media doesn’t let me. This blog is my house and you’re welcome to stay here and put your feet up for a while.

    On a personal note, I’m enjoying blogging five days a week. It’s an opportunity to share ideas and information with the world on a platform that is my own. I’ve always believed writing is about honesty and that any creator needs to live and express themselves honestly without fear of what other people think. There are enough clones in this world and part of the role of the arts–when handled without pretension–is to speak to the human condition and portray things as they are uncut and uncensored. This role also falls on the creator and not just their work. The idea of art being about self-expression (that is, the work created) but not the artist themselves being self-expressive is a contradiction. I’m not saying an artist needs to put their whole selves on the display for the world to see, but I am saying that–and I’ve seen this countless times over–it’s a disservice to the reader or viewer for the artist to put across one message with their work but then muddle that honesty by playing to the public and telling the public what they want to hear instead of being truthful in whatever is being expressed.

    The magic of blogging is that a blog is one way for a person to express themselves honestly. Sure, some folks might not like what they read. Others will be all over it. The point is that the expression was made and, frankly, these expressions will be all that’s left of us after we leave this world. I’d rather leave bits of my true self behind than an illusion for the public.

    This is my approach and arguments can be made against it being the right one. What I do know is that my blogging and what I blog about works for me both professionally and personally. And that’s really the trick, isn’t it? Finding out what works for you? The only way to do that is to experiment and play around and find your groove. Only then will you, too, discover the magic of blogging.

    Get to it.